Jonah- Lesson 1: Call Me Ishmael…

Last week I finished teaching a brief summer Bible study on the book of Jonah. It was based on an on line study I wrote a few years ago. I enjoyed Jonah so much I thought you might enjoy it too, so for the next few weeks, I’ll be re-running a lesson on Wednesdays and Fridays until we complete all twelve lessons. Please feel free to share this around on social media and get a gospel discussion going with your friends. It’s also a great study for your small group or the break room at work. Hope you enjoy Jonah!

Michelle Lesley

Some of the principles of good hermeneutics (interpreting Scripture) are to know who the author of the book was, when he wrote/when the action took place, where he lived, and the historical/cultural context in which he wrote.  So let’s start off with a little background:

Jonah was a prophet of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (as opposed to the Southern Kingdom of Judah).  The events described in the book of Jonah took place in approximately 760 B.C., during the reign of King Jeroboam II.  This would mean Jonah prophesied after Elisha and before Hosea and Amos, despite the fact that the book of Jonah actually comes after both of these books in the Old Testament.

During Jonah’s tenure, Israel was experiencing greater prosperity than at any other time in its history.  Though previously attacked and oppressed by the Assyrians (of which Nineveh was the capital), the power of this enemy kingdom had weakened…

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